Goreripper of Australia's PyroMusic.net recently conducted an interview with ARMORED SAINT/ANTHRAX singer John Bush. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
PyroMusic.net: I spoke to [ARMORED SAINT bassist] Joey [Vera] before the tour here last year and he said there was an album planned, but nothing had really been completed. How long did it take to get all the material together for [the new ARMORED SAINT album] "La Raza"?
John Bush: I don't know. I can't remember when the whole thing started coming together. I want to say that from when Joey gave me the first idea for "Blues", which was the first song we wrote... I was probably about 18 months or two years. We kind of had to fit it in with all the other things going on in our lives. It wasn't a situation where we had all this pressure and a timeline where we had a deadline to get a record out. We kind've worked at our leisure and did things that felt right. So whenever he'd give me stuff, I'd work on it and when I had lyrics completed I'd go to his house and we'd put it down in demo form, which we actually kept a lot of those vocals — I'd say we probably kept about 50% of those vocals which I sang at Joey's house on the demos, which is cool. We just took our time with it. It wasn't like the label was saying, "Hurry up guys! Get your record out!" It was none of that, which is nice.
PyroMusic.net: It must have been good being able to just take your time.
John Bush: It was fun. You know, I'm still real proud of all the records I've done with both bands I've been in. There's some that are stronger than others in my opinion of course, but this record was different because it wasn't a normal process of making a record. The normal process is there's money and time and you need to connect it with going out on tour, and that goes back to the first ARMORED SAINT album I did. You get concerned with being over budget and all the bullshit basically! But this wasn't about that. We wrote these songs, and once we had ten it was like, "OK, they're good! Let's record on them." And we got in the studio and recorded with real drums and Joey re-recorded the guitars and bass... we kept a lot of the demo stuff, guitar nuances and acoustic stuff. And Phil [Sandoval] and Jeff [Duncan] laid down leads, and it was a smooth and nice process because it was in our own timeline. That was neat. It's been a real pleasurable record from that perspective and I'm getting a lot of satisifaction out of people connecting to it. It makes me happy because as much as we really try to do a lot, we didn't really try that hard! Sometimes there's something to be said for not thinking too much and using instincts. Instincts man, instincts!
PyroMusic.net: Can I also ask you about ANTHRAX. Are you working with [Scott] Ian and Charlie [Benante] on the new ANTHRAX album?
John Bush: Well, obviously, those guys have a finished record that they're sitting on, and... and... I'm not sure what's gonna happen yet. At one point they wanted me to re-record it all, and I wasn't really up to that task. And then the game changed a little bit and we came up with the idea of an EP in conjunction with these shows in the summer. But there's been some business issues with that. So, I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen yet. Obviously the guys in the band would like to have something out to correlate with these "Big Four" shows [featuring METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX] and I totally understand that. It's just a matter of making something feel right. Because obviously there's been so much involved in making this one record... Dan Nelson singing on it, then Dan Nelson not being in the band, but his vocals being on it, and then me to go re-record everything and I didn't really have a hand in creating anything... I don't feel really comfortable just going in and re-recording everything as is. I want to make it my baby a little bit. And they're trying to do something with that... contrary to ARMORED SAINT, they would like to have something out by June for these shows. So I don't know. Worst-case scenario is that ANTHRAX will play the shows anyway, record or not. They were asked to participate and that was based on the band's history more than anything, so we'll see.
PyroMusic.net: Those "Big Four" shows will be a truly amazing event, don't you think?
John Bush: Yeah! It's gonna be awesome. It's total metal history. Neither of these bands have ever totally played together — I don't think they ever have. It'll be cool, really fun, some metal history goin' down and I look forward to it!
Read the entire interview from PyroMusic.net.